Malawi government and two of its major bilateral donors have applauded the Chipatala Cha Pa Foni (CCPF) hotline initiative as a way to go towards achieving universal health care in the country.
Championed by an international NGO VillageReach in 2011 and embraced by Airtel Malawi in 2015, CCPF is a toll-free hotline, which enables Malawians access health information by simply dialing the number 54747.
It initially started as a women and children project, whereby mothers could access information pertaining to maternal health care and under 5 children before being scaled up to address all health issues for all Malawians.
This week Health and Population Minister Atupele Muluzi presided over the official unveiling of CCPF at the Health Education Unit in Lilongwe, where the CCPF call centre is now housed.
The Minister pledged government’s full commitment to support the initiative that is expected to cover all the 28 districts of the country by the end of this year.
“The Ministry of Health and Population sees this service as a key part of our strategy to improve health for all Malawians. We see it as a critical tool in helping to reach the 74 percent of our population living in rural communities, where the barrier to health care access is the greatest. This is also critical to SDG Goal number three of ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for people of all ages,” said Muluzi.
Muluzi commended VillageReach, Concern Worldwide, Baobab Health Trust, Airtel and donors from the United States of America and Germany and other partners for working with the Ministry to ensure the growth and success of the project.
VillageReach country director Carla Blauvelt hailed the commitment to partnership from Health Ministry and other partners: “This commitment has been the cornerstone of CCPF’s success to date. CCPF has been receiving an average of 2,000 calls from men and women of all ages per month and we hope these numbers will grow significantly as we align the service to a fully-fledged government- run facility.”
US Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer and her Germany counterpart Jurgen Borsch pledged their countries continued support towards the initiative, which will be the first government-run national health hotline in Africa.
Airtel Malawi’s customer experience director Sibusiso Nyasulu assured government and the partners of a stable, robust and resilient reach and network coverage to enable more Malawians access the mobile health service.
“With our social responsibility motto of ‘Touching Lives,’ this hotline is just a tip of the iceberg for us at Airtel. Be assured that we shall continue to do our best to touch more lives and support public health institutions,” said Nyasulu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :